Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui

Exhibition: Jul 12 – Sep 9, 2007


Restless is a series of ten gelatin silver photographs based on the life of Muñoz Ordoqui’s grandfather, a Cuban exile. The artist draws upon images from his family’s archives, tactile materials, and portraits of present-day environments to blur the distinction between the past and present, the political and personal.

In Wine and Water (Paris, France 1956, Austin, TX 2006), the artist presents a critical, yet intimate view of political internalization. The image depicts Muñoz Ordoqui’s grandfather, seated in front of a mirror and staring with a perplexed look at two female figures. Near his grandfather, the artist has inserted a water-marked glass, referencing the baptismal watermark, a Catholic symbol of religious association. This alludes subtly to the man’s undying commitment, in this case to leftist ideology. For many, political affiliation is a matter of personal philosophy.

The artist’s use of multiple materials in The Agreement (with vertical drawer) (Moscow, Soviet Union April 28, 1962, Austin, TX 2006), draws a visual parallel to the ulterior motives behind tenuous political relationships. The left figure, Muñoz Ordoqui’s grandfather, is projected onto shrouds of fabric, while his counterpart, former chief director of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, is marked by torn paper. The alternating use of texture forecasts the failure of the pact and speaks to the superficial nature of such agreements.

In Sand and Soil (Havana, Cuba 1940s, Yucatán, Mexico 2006, San Antonio, TX 2007), the artist has eerily merged an image of a casual gathering on the beach with San Antonio’s City Cemetery. Muñoz-Ordoqui’s seamless photographic layering redirects the figures’ seaward gaze toward a menagerie of tombstones, evoking a sense of eminent doom. The superimposition of an American cemetery onto an image of Cuba’s beaches furthers the subject’s ongoing sense of displacement.

Restless provides an intimate look into the artist’s familial environment to reveal the interconnection of personal histories and recurring outside events.

-Emily Morrison


Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui

Austin, Texas, USA

Cuban-born Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui creates multiple-exposure photographs by projecting a combination of images onto three-dimensional backgrounds. Condensing time and geography, the artist’s compositions reflect the methodic generation of political and social ideologies.
In Cartas por Sabina (Sabina’s Letters) (1998-2000), the artist has melded stills of video letters from his sister, family photographs, and the interior architecture of his apartment to create a visual journal¬ that evokes feelings of displacement and uncertainty. Reflecting a life defined by immigration, the images poignantly narrate the struggle to find meaning in a foreign place.
Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1964 and currently resides in Austin, TX. Muñoz Ordoqui received his MFA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin in 2005. Recent solo projects have been presented at Gallery 106, Austin, TX (2004); Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX (2003); and Palau de la Virreina, Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, Spain (2001). His work was also included in the IX Bienal de La Habana, Havana, Cuba (2006); Viajeros: North American Artist/Photographers’ Images of Cuba, Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, PA (2005); and 22 to Watch: New Art in Austin, Austin Museum of Art, TX (2002).

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James Rondeau

Chicago, Illinois, USA

James Rondeau heads the Department of Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago. Since joining The Art Institute in 1998 he has organized solo exhibitions with Stan Douglas, Marlene Dumas, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mark Manders, and Shirin Neshat, among others. Previously Rondeau was a Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, where he organized numerous exhibitions, including The LeWitt Collection, Byron Kim, and Pipilotti Rist. Rondeau was a commissioner and co-curator of Robert Gober’s presentation for the United States Pavilion of the 49th Venice Biennial, Italy in 2001, and has served as both a curator and panelist for Art Basel.
Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

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